This week’s Astrotweeps host is Brian Balta. In short, I like to think of myself as a geologist working in planetary science and I like stuff that melts. I am a petrologist by training, which means I use measurements of the chemistry of rocks to understand how they were made. For astrotweeps relevance, my last 5 years have been spent mostly working on meteorites from Mars and the asteroid 4 Vesta and I occasionally brag about having pieces of Mars sitting on my counter.
You’re catching me at an interesting personal time. I’ve spent the last 5 years as a postdoc at the University of Tennessee, but I just moved to a position as a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh where starting next week I will be teaching classes in geology and petrology as well as trying to continue research and searching for a permanent job (someone please hire me?). I have a BS in geology from Indiana University and a PhD in geology from Caltech. I also am a regular contributor to science outreach through the Facebook groups The Earth Story and The Universe. I run the blog version of TES and although I have a personal account I do most of my twitter work running the account @theearthstory and hope some of you will follow me over at those pages. While here I’m hoping to get a chance to talk about meteorites, Mars, igneous rocks, the early solar system, our outreach pages, and some of the things I’m dealing with as an early career scientist trying to find a permanent job.